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Sean Miller, the University of Arizona Men’s Basketball Coach, explains the responsibilities of help defense and how to properly close out on to the basketball so that you can challenge a shot and contain the dribble at the same time. The ability to close out effectively will make you a great defensive player.
Coach Miller puts a great deal of emphasis on teaching how to properly close out on to the basketball within the high school, grade school, and youth league levels. He stresses that it’s critical to understand the “Ball, You, Man” concept at an early age. Defenders, not playing the basketball, should be in help position and seeing the ball on one side of the floor and the person you’re responsible for guarding on the opposite side of the floor at all times.
Once the ball is in the air and on its way to the person you’re responsible for guarding, you must close out on the ball. When closing out on the ball, you must be quick, but also under control so the offensive player does not blow by you and get into the paint with the dribble. High hands are also crucial when closing out on the ball so that a jump shot can be contested.
1) “Ball, You, Man” while in help position defensively
2) To start your close out begin with your foot which is closest to the man you’re guarding
3) Steps go from big to small when closing out
4) Low body
5) High hands which are bent at the elbow
6) You should be able to reach out and touch the offensive player who possesses the ball
Sean Miller was the 2014 Pac-12 Coach of the Year, and here he puts his sons through a ball handling drill which involves two basketballs. Using two basketballs forces players to use their weak hand. Coach Miller uses commands during the drill to help players change their dribble.
Keys to the Drill:
Sean Miller is the current men’s basketball coach at the University of Arizona. In his short tenure at Arizona, he has won two Pac 12 Championships and Pac 12 Coach of the Year honors. Coach Miller teaches his sons how to react in the post if you are being played on the high side or on the low side. He also talks about how not to panic and what to do if you’re being fronted on the block.
Athlete Movements: Before the player catches the ball, Miller stresses that he or she should have active feet before the entry pass is made, elbows out to establish position, and to have your feet in the air when the ball is in the air.
Once the player catches the ball with his or her’s back to the basket, he or she should chin the ball and be strong with it. In this situation it is better to take your time than to be in a rush. Coach Miller wants the offensive player to be aware of their opponent’s positioning and then to go opposite of where the defense is playing.
Sean Miller is the current men’s basketball coach at the University of Arizona. Coach Miller believes all players should learn how to play with their backs to the basket. It doesn’t matter if you’re a center or point guard. Watch as he starts off with the ‘Mikan Drill’ that emphasizes proper footwork.
Athlete Movements: You must go off the right foot on the left side of the basket and off the left foot on the right side of the hoop. It’s also critical that the player in the drill does not bring the ball down low. This prevents the player from being stripped of the ball during a game situation. On the shot, getting proper rotation on the ball is very important. Coach Miller emphasizes rolling the ball off of your thumb for the correct rotation.
1) Keep the Ball No Lower Than Your Shoulder
2) Proper Footwork
3) Roll the Basketball Off of the Thumb for Proper Rotation on the Shot.
Sean Miller is the current men’s basketball coach at the University of Arizona. In his short tenure at Arizona, Coach Miller has won a Pac 12 Championship and Pac 12 Coach of the Year honors. In this video clip, Coach Miller and his sons work on the inside-out move. You can also incorporate a hesitation and crossover move in this series.
Athlete Movements: Cones are needed to simulate where a defender would be in the open court. Coach Miller wants each player to make three dribbles before each cone. He also wants to alternate each type of layup. On one end of the floor, he wants the players to power up off of two feet for layups. Meanwhile, on the opposite end he wants players to do the traditional layup off of one foot. Coach Miller wants each player to explode and drive by after making each move. As with all ball handling drills Coach Miller does, he stresses not to fear making a mistake. Mistakes are a good thing because you know you are getting pushed outside of your comfort zone.
2) Carrying Out the Move and Then Finding a Faster Speed to Blow by the Defender
3) Maximizing Your Dribble
4) Finishing at the Basket